Elon Musk probably got a huge tax break when he sold off Tesla shares

Read Time:4 Minute, 1 Second


Musk last month sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares for more than 100 times what he paid for them (he exercised options and bought them for a massively reduced price). But the IRS doesn’t care what Musk initially paid for the stock; it cares only what the shares were worth when he bought and sold them.

Tesla’s stock was going for more than $1,000 a share when Musk bought 22.9 million shares late last year, but by the time he sold the 9.6 million shares last week, the price had fallen, and he received only $883 a share, on average. That The difference comes to about $1.7 billion.

In the eyes of the IRS, the sale could count as a massive tax loss that would reduce Musk’s future taxes by between $400 million and $700 million.

It may sound like cheating, but it’s legal — and a common practice for wealthy investors.

Diagram of a massive tax break

Here’s how Musk could get his tax break.

Musk acquired Tesla stock through the exercise of options at the end of last year, part of his compensation for being CEO. Musk paid only $6.24 per share to exercise the options, even though each share was worth more than $1,000 each.

The basis is typically the cost of shares or other assets at the time they’re purchased. That amount is deductible from the revenue an investor receives when calculating capital gains tax.

But because those options where earned as compensation for being CEO, Musk had to pay income taxes on the value of the shares at the time he exercised the options. That gave him a massive $11 billion tax bill for last year, and prompted him to sell 10.3 million of the shares he acquired, mostly to cover withholding tax. But it also meant that the value of the shares, not his nominal out-of-pocket cost of $6.24 a share, was the basis of the remaining 12.6 million shares in the eyes of the IRS.

It’s not certain that that those shares he acquired last year are the ones he just sold. But it’s probable, tax experts say, because those would have the highest cost basis of any of the shares he owns.

“Of course, you’re going to sell the big basis shares first, and you’re allowed to do so in the law,” said Lee Sheppard, contributing editor of Tax Notes Federal.

Tax law allows investors to pick and chose which shares they sell when they are disposing of only a portion of a holdings. And the tax experts agree that selling the shares Musk acquired through exercising options in the final two months of 2021 would be the most beneficial for his future tax bills.

“It’s a common strategy,” said Steve Rosenthal, senior fellow, at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank. “Taxpayers like to select their losses as an investing tool.”

Musk’s paper tax loss means he can avoid paying taxes on that much capital gains in the future, depending upon how long he held onto whatever asset he is selling for a profit. He will be able to cash in that tax loss only against future capital gains , not shield what he might owe in regular income tax. But he can wait and use it whenever he does have a gain.

“He can carry it forward forever and ever,” said Sheppard.

It’s possible he might not have to wait long.

For example, if he sold some of his holdings in privately held SpaceX to raise additional cash for his Twitter purchase, he could shelter $1.7 billion in gains on those sales. If he is facing any capital gains tax for trading crypto currency, that also could be sheltered.
Elon Musk sells $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares
Longer term, if he succeeds in buying Twitter (TWTR) and then takes it public, as the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday he is considering doing in a few years, up to $1.7 billion of any profit he makes on that offering could be sheltered from capital gains taxes this way.

The fact that Musk is able to use the value of the shares at the time he acquired them to calculate capital gains or losses, rather than the nominal amount the shares cost him, is a big advantage for him and others in his position.

“It’s a very good deal,” said Rosenthal. “If someone gave me the chance to buy Tesla shares for $6.24 a share when they were worth $1,000, I’d jump at it. Even if I had to share a big chunk of that with the government, I’d be way ahead.”



Source link
You have to be inform about what is happening in USA go to united states news to see more.

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Accept
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Who we are

Suggested text: Our website address is: https://updatednews24.com.

Comments

Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Media

Suggested text: If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Cookies

Suggested text: If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser. When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed. If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Suggested text: Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with

Suggested text: If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.

How long we retain your data

Suggested text: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue. For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

Suggested text: If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Suggested text: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Save settings
Cookies settings